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Gay Child Rearing

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The sexuality and development of children with gay parents must be most affected by the rearing of the gay parents. Does having gay parents affect a child's mental health and growth? Can education and socialization be decreased with the presence of gay parents? How could it be possible that children are not affected by having two parents of the same sex? Doesn't this cause some gender confusion for the child? How can a child develop properly without the experience of both a male and female role model? Will the child be at risk for molestation of a homosexual parent?

A female teaches the child how to love, be caring, and offers a maternal nurturing that only a mother can give while a male teaches a child to be strong, disciplined, and offers a paternal upbringing. Don't children need both of these gender advantages to be a straight, gender stable child? If this balance is broken, is it impossible for a child to be attracted strictly to the opposite sex? Will all children of same sex marriages become homosexual themselves in the future, or are people born homosexuals?

Is there a hormonal imbalance in gay men and women? There would have to be some type of female hormone that homosexual males have an abnormal amount of to become gay, and the females would have to possess a high level of male hormone to be a lesbian. Do genetics have anything to do with whether or not a person is gay? If so, how would we ever be able to tell if homosexuality is an inborn trait or is simply caused by the upbringing of a child? Homosexual children are born to heterosexual parents every day. So, why would a homosexual parent have to have a heterosexual child? And does it make a difference if the child is adopted or born through a surrogate with either the father or the mother being gay and looking to raise the child with their gay partner?

Review of Literature

A study was done with a two year old boy who was withdrawn in class. It was noted that he was raised by two lesbian women. Dr. Ellen C. Perrin of the New England Medical Center reports, "There is extensive scientific evidence that these children encounter no increased risks in their educational, cognitive, emotional, or sexual development compared with children who grow up with heterosexual parents." (Steiner 2002). "Research suggests that the children of gay and lesbian parents have similar psychological adjustment to children growing up in more traditional family structures." (Ray 1998). According to Perrin (2002), there are definitely differences in the life experiences of heterosexual and homosexual parented children, but these include no negative effects. It has been shown through research that children raised by homosexual parents are more nurturing, recognize emotional situations, and show less aggressive interactions. The way that parents communicate and interact with their children shows much more effect on development than the sexual preference of their parents, claims Perrin (2002).

The question is raised as to whether a child needs a mother and father role model. Conservatives say 'yes,' but all of the research that they have acquired is based "fellow conservative groups." (Neff 2004). "Nearly 50 studies show there are no significant developmental differences between the children of gay parents and the children of straight parents." (Neff 2004). In fact, gay parenting is supported by many psychological organizations like the National Association of Social Workers and the American Psychological Association. Children tend not to be confused by their gender role. In a study, research showed that 20 of 21 children correctly identified a favorite toy consistent with their gender. (Patterson, 1992). There is no more male hormone in a lesbian than in a heterosexual female. This was proven by a study done with 12 heterosexually parented children and 12 homosexually parented children. The study showed that the children "did not differ in masculinity or androgyny." (Patterson, 1992). In fact, the study found that there is a greater femininity in the children of homosexual females than in heterosexual parents.

Children seem not to be damaged by the role of gay parents. Dr. Ruth McNair from the University of Melbourne claims, "The main damage to children of lesbian and gay parents or people born of surrogates came not from their parents, but from society's prejudices." (Bachelard 2004). In fact, some studies have even shown that "gay parents may prevail over heterosexual parents" because they are never forced to raise babies that may be unplanned or accidents. (Pearson 2004). As for the misconception of gay child molestation, it has been proven that a heterosexual male is more likely to violate a child than a homosexual male or female. (Victor 1995).

When it comes to the sexual orientation of the children of homosexual parents, Dr. Ruth McNair found that children are more likely to experiment with same sex partners, but are not more likely to become sexually attracted to the same sex. (Bachelard 2004). In one study, Dr. L. Green found that only 1 child of 37 children observed showed "atypical sex orientation" in a gay parented family. (Cramer 1986). Researchers Golombok and Tasker found that after surveying 39 children from gay parented families that "after extensive psychological, intelligence, social and personality testing, it was found that no significant difference existed between the psychosocial status of the children of lesbian mothers and those of heterosexual mothers." (Ray 1998). Chan and Raboy found that donor insemination have no significant role in the sexual orientation or development of a child after observing 55 lesbian headed families along with 25 heterosexually headed households. (Ray 1998). In yet another study, experimenters found that all 4 children headed by gay parents reported only heterosexual fantasies while research done by Miller in 1979 provided that only 8% of children raised by gay parents turned out to be gay themselves. This number was "within expected percentages of the population at



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